Nudging Facebook Back Towards Friends

Nudging Facebook Back Towards Friends

Facebook is getting worse, that’s old news. But there are some simple things you can do to improve your news feed. It’s about how you want to use Facebook. If you use it for business, you might want to keep following brands and businesses you are tracking, courting, working for. If it’s about friendship and connection there are some easy things you can do to connect more efficiently with your friend-network.

1. Use adblock software. 
Removing the ads from Facebook is awesome. It’s not complete, because Facebook knows how to promote itself and it’s advertising platform without triggering the AD-remove bot. But you will see none of those annoying homemade ads that are so bad. (Corollary, you might want to see them, in that case don’t block the ads.)

2. Like Stuff.
When someone you care about posts something LIKE it. This will move them up in your food chain. The more you LIKE from a friend the more that friend’s posts will be identified as interesting to you.

3. Use Notifications for people you love.
If you really like someone you can set their profile to alert you when they post anything. Good for lovers, employers, and siblings.

4. Unfollow everything.
You know those movie lists you always LIKING, unLIKE them. They are cluttering up your newsfeed with movie or tv crap. Same thing for brands. I mean what is there to LIKE about Heinz catsup or Haines underwear?

5. Post a lot.
As you post various types of content they will be shown to more of your friends and based on their preferences, you might hit different friends with different types of posts.

6. Privacy First.
Use a privacy filter or a browser extension to block Facebook’s external cookies.

7. Kill Cookies.
For that matter, use an extension to alert you when any website wants to set a cookie. Cookies are not delicious unless you are the advertiser who is trying to reach you.

That’s it. Be more interactive on Facebook and Facebook may begin to look a bit more like it used to. Fewer ads more friends. As Zuck and Co. work to make their shareholders happy, you don’t have to whine about things, just change your habits. Oh, and if you’re a lurker who rarely posts or likes anything, wake up. Do us a favor. Engage. Say something, you’ll be surprised who is listening for your thoughts and ideas.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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